GUYTON — A unexpected detour is taking Chloe Strickland to a place she loves.
Strickland, a recent South Effingham graduate, is headed to the softball field at Brewton-Parker University. Her original college destination was Georgia Southern, a place where she didn’t feel comfortable and didn’t plan to compete on the diamond.
“I didn’t realize how big Georgia Southern’s campus was and how many people go there (20,517),” Strickland said during a Thursday signing ceremony in the South Effingham cafeteria. “Brewton-Parker is really small (778) and really friendly, and inviting. Everyone that I met was so nice and had good things to say about it.”
Strickland earned the chance to play for the NAIA Lady Barons after spending the summer playing for Cage Bat, an AAU squad. She caught the eye of a Brewton-Parker coach during a tournament and he made her an offer in July.
“He said that I could try third base,” Strickland said.
Coach Todd Eubanks, who led South Effingham on an interim basis last year, applauded Strickland’s achievement.
“It’s a special privilege and honor to be able to continue to play the sport that you love,” he said.
Strickland became the fourth of the Lady Mustangs’ four seniors from last year to get a college offer, joining Natalie Easterling (Middle Georgia State), Hailey Pinette (Georgia Southwestern State) and Ashleigh Woods (Wesleyan College).
“Chloe fits right into the mold of what a South Effingham softball player was,” Eubanks said. “She gave her all all the time.”
Strickland intended to get a degree in interior design at Georgia Southern. That isn’t an option at Brewton-Parker so she has opted for business management.
“That can be used in a lot of different ways,” she said.